The Harbor Report: A cub reporter at America's Cup

September 12, 2013|Len Bose
  • Team New Zealand and Team USA before the start of races 3 and 4 at America's Cup.
Team New Zealand and Team USA before the start of races… (Len Bose )

Years ago, I was a bartender, and on Monday nights, a fat lady would come in and sing "Ebb Tide" to close the night's karaoke and the bar.

After watching the Kiwis dominate Oracle Team USA in three of four races last Saturday and Sunday at the America's Cup, I flashed back to those painful moments at the bar and to Monday Night Football when Don Meredith would sing, "Turn out the lights, the party is over."

Let's just hope that Team USA can win one more race so we don't go down in history losing the Cup with a negative number. I am assuming you knew that Team USA was accessed a penalty, negative two points, for a rules infraction before the event even started.

OK, so that's the bad news. Let's talk about the good news. The streets of San Francisco were full of people wearing America's Cup shirts and hats. It started to feel as though there were Kiwi supporters on every corner.


One New Zealand couple walked up to us with a bunch of bananas, and I had to ask him if they were for good luck. He said, "I am handing them out to the Americans. Would you like one?" Bananas have a long tradition of bringing bad luck to sailors and fishermen.

Later that night, I ran into a couple of friends who brought up the fact that this could be the last opportunity to watch the Cup in California for quite some time. That's when it really hit me how lucky I am to have been able to attend this event.

The San Francisco Bay and the race organizers delivered on a promise that the bay would provide the best accessibility to view the racing in AC history. On the first day of racing, I was on a mark-set boat between Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. We had front-row seats for the starting line and the top end of the race course.

On Saturday, races one and two, the wind had picked up well above the forecast, and when the Kiwis first lit the boat up and started hydrofoiling, only about 50 yards away from the boat I was on, the words, "Oh yeah baby, this is what it's all about," came out of my mouth. In my mind, this was heaven's gate for sailboat racing.

I wanted to get a fresher perspective, and I started looking around the boat for the kid who looked like a sailing enthusiast. This is when I met 12-year-old Oscar Moeller from Germany. When I asked Oscar what had brought him to the AC, he replied, "I like catamarans. My father and I sail on an Eagle 16 on the lakes at home."

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